Goodbye Elysian. Hello Waldorf Astoria. Yes, the Elysian in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood will be rebranded as the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, effective in February 1, 2012.
An investment group that includes billionaire Sam Zell and the Hilton hotel chain acquired the hotel for a reported $95 million, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.
The 188-room hotel opened two years ago, but since then failed to turn a proft, even though the hotel has received universal praise. Luxury Travel Advisor wrote about the hotel when it first opened and was struck by its grandeur both inside and out (we particularly loved the mansard roof!).
While The Elysian is one of the finer hotels in the U.S., perhaps as a waldorf Astoria it will flourish even more. Why? Going at is an independent hotel can be a difficult upward battle. Now, the hotel will have the robust backing of Hilton's worldwide reservations network—not to mention one of the more iconic brand names in the world.
The Sun Times writes that David Pisor, the hotel's developer, had been seeking a buyer for the hotel that would allow him to retain control if he expanded the Elysian name to other cities. His co-investor in the project was Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank.